Titles won by the football, wrestling and rowing teams earned the Buckeyes 100 points in each of those sports, helping the school rise from a 25th-place finish -- its worst in the history of the annual trophy -- a season ago. It is OSU's fifth top-10 finish in the past seven years.
The Buckeyes amassed 1,087 points, good enough to lead the Big Ten. Stanford won the title yet again with 1,448 points while UCLA, USC, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia filled spots two through six in that order.
“This is the way it’s supposed to be,” Smith said. “Our challenge is to sustain it. Each team each year will bring something different, the challenges will be different, but our leaders as coaches, how do they adjust to whatever that new challenge is? We have to help our leadership, our coaches, have the tools to adjust so that our student-athletes have a chance. It’s pretty cool.”
Each team that makes the NCAA tournament earns points toward the cup, and the top 10 sports in each gender are scored, giving schools a maximum of 2,000 points available. Points are scaled in each sport depending on the number of teams that reach the NCAA postseason.
Other top finishers for Ohio State included men's lacrosse (NCAA quarterfinals, 60 points), men's tennis (NCAA round of 16, 64 points), fencing (fifth at NCAA tournament, 75 points) and women's volleyball (NCAA round of 16, 64 points).
The Buckeyes also won national titles in pistol and synchronized swimming, but neither is an NCAA sport and thus not a part of the Directors' Cup standings.
In the Big Ten, Penn State (eighth), Wisconsin (18th) and Michigan (19th) were also in the top 25. The rest of the schools in the Big Ten included Minnesota (26th), Illinois (31st), Maryland (33rd), Michigan State (34th), Nebraska (39th), Iowa (44th), Northwestern (50th), Purdue (60th), Indiana (61st) and Rutgers (104th).